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‘Star Wars’ fans argue whether the prequels or sequels are worse

Fans get testy as they debate which 'Star Wars' trilogy is worse.

qui gon jinn obi wan kenobi phantom menace
via Lucasfilm

Star Wars fans are currently working their way through one of the big unanswerable questions of the franchise: prequels vs. sequels. It’s indisputable that the original trilogy is the best, but what picks up the silver medal, and what’s consigned to the bottom of the pile? Well, both the prequels and sequels have their defenders and critics, so it’s up for grabs.

This is all going down on r/StarWars, who seem to be split on the issue. Defenders of the prequel trilogy point to them telling a cohesive story, the sheer amount of creativity on display, the way it pushed special effects technology, not to mention how it fueled excellent TV shows like The Clone Wars and Rebels. Its critics fairly point to the notoriously iffy dialogue, some very wooden performances, and an abundance of cringeworthy moments (hi, Jar-Jar!).

star wars the rise of skywalker palpatine
via Lucasfilm

And then there’s the sequels. Disney’s trilogy was originally intended to correct its mistakes and try to capture what made the originals so iconic. Though The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi are both pretty good, The Rise of Skywalker is a stone-cold stinker. Replies rightfully say that fluffing the landing retroactively makes the other films worse, with a sense that they were written by committee, and rely way too much on nostalgia.

Opinions obviously vary, but we’re going to have to come down on the side of the prequels. Give us a fascinating failure rather than a corporate branding exercise any day of the week. After all, Episodes I, II, and III may have some truly tin-eared lines and many of the early digital sets haven’t aged well, but at least they have George Lucas’ fingerprints all over them

And, more importantly, the worst moments of the prequels don’t hold a candle to how bad The Rise of Skywalker was. Oof.

Both trilogies are available to stream on Disney Plus.

David James
About the author

David James

London-based writer about everything and anything. Willing to crawl over rusty nails to write about Metal Gear Solid or Resident Evil.